Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today I chatted with conceptual artist Nancy Hwang, who's doing a show at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. She's the sort of naturally sweet, unprepossessing person you'd feel completely comfortable welcoming into your home; if she ever decided to quit the art biz, she'd probably make a killer shrink.


W.M. Bear said...

Suppose advanced ETIs communicate over interstellar distances using some version of telepathy (which is supposedly "instantaneous"). Now suppose one of those ETIs contacted ME (or someone like me) using this kind of telepathic interstellar communication, and I went to the appropriate SETI experts and said, "Hey, look, I'm in telepathic contact with beings from another star system." Think this would go over?

Mac said...

If the SETI "experts" were smart, they might consider asking you a few questions for you to relay to your claimed alien pals. If you were telling the truth, you might actually provide a valuable conduit for information unavailable to conventional instruments.

W.M. Bear said...

Sorry I posted to the wrong thread. (The aliens told me to!) But yes, I was thinking along the same lines. However, one of the problems with telepathic communication is that, if the "receiver" doesn't understand what he or she is receiving, it's likely to get garbled.

An analogous situation is remote viewing. In controlled experiments, some remote viewers have produced amazingly accurate drawings of distant scenes, objects, etc. However, they are typically not able to identify WHAT the object or scene actually is, since they really have no context in which to place it. Unfortunately, something similar may obtain in the case of telepathically receiving information from ETIs.